This time of year, between showers, the sunshine is intense with amazing blue skies.
Cerulean blue for the most part, but its a difficult colour to darken for the deeper shades of the sky. Having a deeper, darker blue at the top of the sky is essential to give depth and perspective. Normally I would add French Ultramarine to darken Cerulean. But I like the extremely limited palette of a single pigment for the red, yellow and blue. The only secondary colours I use are green (Viridian, Sap, Chrome) or orange (Ochres, Cadmiums) and I never used purple, until now.
Dioxazine Purple, by W&N, mixed nicely with Cerulean. The resultant colour was very similar to French Ultramarine and very blue when used transparently. But what a surprise when diluted with white – its mauve, very different from the raw colour.
As its such a strong colour, in my usual manner, I made sure there was plenty spread about the canvas as an under colour. The other colours used were, Cadmium Yellow, Indian Red, Cerulean Blue plus Titanium White and Ivory black.
This time I used the tiniest amount of Liquin not to speed up drying but to slow it down. Remember I use Alkyd fast drying oils and at this time of year they were drying too fast, especially in the sky colours. I mix Alkyd and standard oils depending on colours, for example there is no Cadmium Yellow in Alkyd, only Cadmium Yellow Hue. The same with Cerulean.
Paint suppliers warn about mixing Alkyd and standard oils. The problems occur when used in distinct thick dry layers, because of the different rates of drying leading to loss of adhesion and cracking. Using my ‘alls prima’ method, if not well mixed on the palette they are definitely well mixed on the canvas.
Here’s the video, see you soon.